the coolest street in town

Forty years ago today, the first episode of Sesame Street was born. It was sponsored by the letters W, S and E and the numbers 2 and 3. Since that day, the show has done a brilliant job of evolving with the times. It is still relevant. It is still teaching in a way that speaks to us. And it is still freaking awesome.

I’ve posted some clips of the Yip-Yip Aliens already, so here’s one with Kermit, Cookie, and the Mystery Box. I love that Cookie has recently explained how cookies are “sometimes food” while fruit is for everyday. Not that he’s thinking about fruit here.

Happy birthday, Sesame Street!

looking forward

Last week kind of sucked. On Monday and Tuesday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold, but it didn’t really materialize into anything serious. Then on Wednesday it was like, Wham! What I thought was a cold revealed itself to be a nasty stomach virus. Not cool. It was disgusting. Fortunately, it was not as disgusting as that crazy food poisoning thing a bunch of us had a while back. Which was caused by E. coli from tomato plants, by the way. Judy Blume had it. She posted a photo on her blog where she was sleeping on the bathroom floor with pillows and blankets and stuff. I remember being like, Dude! That’s such a good idea!

This was not that bad. Mainly, it just made me exhausted all week. I’m not good about working when I’m sick. I probably could manage to write, but I’m sure that everything I write would sound all groggy. So I took several sick days. Luckily, my boss is flexible about such things. That’s a joke because my boss is me. Hilarious. You know Michael’s World’s Best Boss mug on The Office? I just got a World’s Best Boss mug keychain, since it works both ways.

So yeah. It’s back to work time! Plus, there are lots of things to look forward to this week. I will hopefully be making progress on this second draft. I’m visiting Manhattan Village Academy’s book club today as part of the Adopt-A-School program. Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th birthday tomorrow. I’m finally going to see Whip It this weekend, if it’s still playing. And I just heard some exciting news from my agent. Something Like Fate is Penguin’s lead book for the Summer 2010 season! That means fun times are ahead. I should have marketing details to share with you soon. In the meantime, back to making some second draft magic…


In a negative situation, I always try to find something positive. Something positive about not having dental insurance is that I can go to any dentist I want. True, I might have to take out a small loan to pay for my visits. But I have finally found an Awesome Dentist! I always hoped that the Awesome Dentist existed, despite worrying that he was merely a mythical entity, rather like unicorns or zero-calorie cupcakes that taste like real cupcakes and not some sugar-free, low-fat variety which, really, why even bother? So I am very happy to announce that for the first time in my life, I have an Awesome Dentist. I’ve had Dumbass Dentist, Ghetto Dentist, Evil Dentist, Evil Dentist Group Practice (who were clearly practicing how to extort ridiculous amounts of money from their patients by performing all sorts of unnecessary procedures), and Grumpy Dentist. How relieved am I that dental karma is now showering me with its powers?

About as relieved to discover that my bottom wisdom teeth will never be pulled. Awesome Dentist took a 3-D image of my mouth and determined that the only way to pull my wisdom teeth would be to first remove chunks of my jawbone. Um, I’m good with all my jawbone intact, thanks. He also said there’s no reason why they should be pulled, despite all previous dentists yammering at me to get them out. Not only is Awesome Dentist awesome, he also specializes in sedation dentistry, dealing with sensitivity, and Invisalign. So I’m going back next week to do impressions for my braces. And then I’ll have braces. Invisalign is crazy expensive, but it comes with perks (like going on the back of the teeth and taking them out to eat), so hopefully having braces 20 years too late will be minimally traumatic.

Remember that rad poster alert from Wednesday? The mystery has been solved. It was part of Penguin’s booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where galleys of Something Like Fate were distributed. More photos from the fair were posted at The Letter Garden. Thanks to Ka-Yam for this incredible documentation! My editor also helped crack the case by discovering that it wasn’t actually a poster. It was more like a wall panel, so there’s no way to get one. Which is sad because it would have made a sweet door poster. But hey, maybe more Something Like Fate walls will pop up at book fairs here in the States! Let’s be on the lookout.

between drafts

Over the weekend, I finished the first draft of book five. My goal was to finish this draft by the end of October. For a while there, I wasn’t sure I’d make it. But when failure is not an option, magic happens. There’s still a ton of work to do. My first drafts are never pretty. I have to do a second draft and then a third before I can submit the manuscript to my editors. Hopefully, I’m in for a fun ride.

Then there was the big Village Halloween Parade. Even though it passes by right around the corner, I hadn’t seen it in years. We had a friend visiting who wanted to see it. So we stood out in the warm night (which was awesome because having to wear a coat over your costume sucks) and watched the fabulous parade. The best costumes were some Wild Things. Every year there’s this group of weird skeletons. They are huge! I might have a short video of them to show you soon.

Our friend was visiting from Toronto. He works on the set of Degrassi! He brought me swag! They just wrapped season 9 and wait until you see what happens. There’s a major plot point that, sadly, I cannot share. However, I am allowed to tell you the following:

1. The main actors get paid a flat rate of $1,000 per day, regardless of what they do. Whether someone works for a few minutes in a short scene or they have to pull a 14-hour day, they still get paid the same. Fascinating.

2. Joey sold his hat from Degrassi Junior High on eBay and the studio got mad at him. I’m siding with Joey on this one. If the studio is going to be all possessive about their stuff, then they shouldn’t give it away. I wonder if Joey regrets selling his famous fedora.

Okay, the second draft is waiting to be written. I wonder if there’s a way to work in a Degrassi beach towel…